Lauren Kearney, wife of Coleraine FC manager Oran Kearney, has had to learn to take a back seat to football in her home.
However, she is no stranger to a life with ‘the beautigul game’, as dad Kenny is a former player and current manager of the Northern Ireland Women’s Senior team and her brother Dean is also a footballer.
Mum to nine-year-old twins Ava and Luca, Lauren, a post-16 teacher in Dalriada Grammar School, is without doubt top of the league in the style stakes and she took time out to chat about her style, inspiration and top advice.
Describe your personal style
My style is always changing - some weeks I’m obsessed with the Sixties and all I want to wear are A-line skirts and pointed boots – the next week I’m obsessing over grandad-style blazers and chunky ankle boots. I think feeling comfortable in your clothes is the most important thing. There was a time when I dressed to impress but now I care mostly about choosing clothes that match my personality and make me feel good. I love the classic, neutral style at the minute, teamed with beautiful accessories such as a scarf or bag. Thankfully dressy/casual is what I do best, with a little bit of subtle sparkle thrown in; it is Christmas after all!
Where do you find style inspiration?
My style inspiration definitely comes from my favourite bloggers on Instagram. I absolutely love Rosie Connolly; she can do no wrong in my eyes and is really down-to-earth. She always looks amazing and as a working mummy like myself, gives great advice, not only on fashion but beauty and lifestyle as well. I am also loving Marianne from the @smythsisters blog; she posts pictures of her daily outfits and gives great inspiration on where to buy and how to style outfits. Another style inspiration for me is Naomi from the @thebigfwordblog; she is super-stylish and totally relatable, giving great tips on the latest fashion trends, which are not only beautiful but affordable too.
What is the best style advice you’ve ever received?
The top style advice I ever received came from my friend who works in fashion. She advised me to ‘keep it simple’. This does not mean dress plainly but not to overthink things. Keep things simple in regards to fit, colour palette and trends. Fashion and style, at their core, are about feeling good about yourself and simplicity in dress makes you, as a person, confident and more accessible. She also advised to spend my budget on accessories - cool shoes, interesting jewellery and bags can really elevate your look.
What is your favourite fashion trend at the moment?
One of the biggest trends at the moment, which I am loving, is all-over neutrals. The desert-inspired look has become huge this year with a lot of stylish gals hopping on the trend. These colours may seem plain but when styled well, they can help you look more put-together and make older pieces look like new. I love that you can easily dip into your own wardrobe, or even scour a few charity shops to find pieces that no-one else has.
What’s the oldest item in your wardrobe?
I have quite a few items of clothing that are more than 10 years old in my wardrobe. For example, I have a Levi’s denim jacket that I bought in 2005 that still looks like it did when I bought it. It is the same style that is still sold today. Some things just withstand the test of time.
And the most recent?
The most recent item I purchased, and LOVE, is the new la poche bag in the colour bone from @West22 Fashion on Instagram. The lovely Amber has so many stylish accessories and this bag is the ultimate go-to oversized clutch that goes with every outfit. A dream bag – soft, slouch and neutral.
What was your worst fashion mistake?
Once Oran and I were travelling to Ibiza for a short break and I decided to wear shorts on the plane. Never again! To me, this fashion mistake is more of a comfort issue than anything else, but I was absolutely freezing. I was never so glad to get off the plane and feel some heat lol.
Is there a current trend you like?
I am loving the leather separates trend at the minute, especially the leather bottoms, which provide an easy way to dress up your beige jumpers or even a white t-shirt. Throw on a cardigan or a blazer and you’ll be ready to go. I also love the hairband trend, especially the pearl headbands, which just add a touch of class to any outfit.
What is your favourite rule-breaking colour combination?
Navy and black or Blavy (this is a thing for those that didn’t realise, lol). Navy is a wear-now neutral and when paired with black it makes an incredibly chic colour combo. I think you can really make this work by playing with the shape and textures, such as a faux-leather bomber jacket with a silk navy dress or navy blazers over black tees. Black and navy can look stunning together; it is very sophisticated and flatters all body types and can be less severe than all-black everything.
What shoes do you wear most often?
When I’m not at the gym in my trusted Nikes or out doing the school run I’m mostly in my boots. I have two pairs which I love at the minute, my tan crocodile Chelsea boots, which I got in Office, and a pair of black high-heeled suede ankle boots I got in Zara, which I mostly wear to work.
What are your favourite local shops?
My favourite local shops at the moment are – Be Unique by Emma based in Ballymoney; she has some lovely accessories in her shop, from scarves and jewellery to gorgeous hairbands. Stable Lane Boutique is another local favourite, based in Coleraine; they have a great selection of brands from dresses, to shoes and accessories. If I have an event to go to I love shopping in Gasp Boutique in Armagh or Rosoir Boutique in Dungiven, who stock absolutely beautiful occasion wear.